The Film experience?
Life is like a film, composed of moments and memories, much like frames in a movie. The difference is that you can’t relive these moments as they come and go, but with film, you can. You can also experience new otherwise unlikely or once-in-a-lifetime situations and see what might have been if you hadn’t disturbed that butterfly. These new experiences also let viewers gain access to new lenses of perspective which can illuminate more obscure parts of their own. Due to this, the unique characters’ perspective can intrigue, attach, and relate the viewer to the characters, even in less than realistic scenarios. This intrigue, this relatedness that the viewer gains, is why it doesn’t matter whether you’re alone or packed into a movie theater-like sardines in a can, movies are a culturally shared experience. This is the very reason that from a young age the intricacies of film culture, one of the familiar experiences in dissimilar environments, have fascinated me.
The Meat of a Film
Since 4th grade, I have meticulously picked apart movies and tv shows analyzing anything from the camera work to audio design. It fascinates me how so much can go into what the viewer perceives as just a few moments. All the viewer might see are a few lines of dialogue, a back and forth between actors, and possibly hear music in the background. However, that 1-minute scene may very well include: several days worth of scriptwriting and rewriting; at least 2 hours to set up lighting, angles, and let actors rehearse; an hour to shoot for all angles, not including retakes; several hours for the rough cut edit(the more dialogue and number of shots the longer); multiply all the previous steps by 10 if they involve any special effects; lastly, an entire team worth of work on sound design, SFX, and music scoring. Even that doesn’t pay homage to the workload, but when it all falls together perfectly, it can create the perfectly engineered moment to invoke precise and powerful emotions. That is why the film industry is so interesting to me because it is the only industry where, if done correctly, you don’t want the buyer or audience to know how much went into it. You want them to be fully immersed into your narrative to the point that they completely forget they are watching a screen.
The Film Community
At a certain point in every filmmaker’s career, you have to put down the screen and pick up the camera. Luckily I had lots of help with this. As a fledgling filmmaker, I made weekly films with friends for years. Over the course of +100 short films, I have learned a lot from them and because of them. I educated myself on how to use software such as Adobe Premiere Pro, after effects, photoshop, camera raw, and more. More recently I have created larger short films with over 30 people, made Ads for companies like A&W, worked as a photographer for the Lexington Ice Center, and worked on freelance projects. I’ve been able to do this because of the immense help from my two mentors(John Buckman and Rob Gardner), those from my film internship(Pinnacle Productions), and many of my other film contacts. Many of my close friends are also engrossed with film so they help me with my films and I help them with theirs. When I am unsure about a film element, I always turn to these people and often ask them questions to an almost annoying extent. After countless hours of toil invested in this activity, I have become a more hardworking, determined, and persistent person. I have grown quite close to those surrounding me in the film community, and for that reason, I have holistically fallen in love with film culture.